Yes, there was once a Mudd, Texas in N.W. Travis County. It had a post office and a one room
school called Mudd School where my father, uncles, and aunt received their education. They walked or rode their horses from the Bowles’ ranch on Old Ferry Road to where Pace Bend Park is today. Part of the schoolhouse still stands next to the Maxey Cemetery where my mother Alta Puryear’s GG grandparents are buried. Ironically the property was originally the homestead of my Maxey line through my mother’s side. Verdy and Emmitt Puryear, a great aunt and uncle, divided the schoolhouse in half, living in one side and teaching in the other from 1941-1944. After Mansfield Dam was completed in 1944, the rising waters of Lake Travis covered the community known as Mudd and the families that lived there had to move to higher ground. The school and cemetery, high on a bluff overlooking the Pedernales, is all that remains. As you drive through the county park known as Pace Bend Park, the coves names are in honor of those who once called Mudd home.
I have found memories of spending nights in the school as a child. The family utilized it as a haybarn and a place to stay while tending the cattle. The Bowles’ family leased the acreage from the LCRA for grazing during the 50’s. Picture of Mudd School students, teacher and assume school board members (ca 1910-1920). The dark curtain hanging on the door is either a buffalo or bear hide. Second picture (ca 1936) life was a little different in zip code 78669 than it is now.
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#austinhistory #davidabowlesauthorandstoryteller #bowlesranch